Iran nuclear talks avoid collapse


Reuters
January 21, 2011

ISTANBUL (Reuters) ‚Äď Talks between Iran and world powers seeking to persuade the Islamic Republic to curb its nuclear program came close to collapse on Friday, but would resume on Saturday, a western official said.

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EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton convinced the Iranian delegation to remain at the talks, which will go into a second day on Saturday with little prospect of concrete progress beyond entrenched positions in the eight-year-old dispute.

The West suspects Iran plans to develop a nuclear weapon but Tehran insists its atomic energy program is peaceful and that it has a right to enrich uranium to power its nuclear reactors.

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“We had been preparing for the possibility of a potential collapse,” the western diplomat said, crediting the tough line taken by Ashton and the unity of the six powers.

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